Exhausting. Thrilling. Harrowing. Spectacular. One of the reasons I’m having such a hard time writing about Game 6 today is because the adjectives we’ve developed over the thousands of years of human speech are rather insufficient. I’m still reeling myself.
But one question some people have asked me today is how on Earth, after coming within one strike of winning the World Series last night, only to fritter it away on multiple occasions, can the Rangers bounce back? My response to that is: what, are you crazy?
Nothing in this World Series has gone as expected. Nothing can be predicted based on the previous game’s results. I would just as soon predict that the Rangers will activate Nolan Ryan and the Cardinals will active Bob Gibson and we’d have an exact reenactment of Game 7 from 1991 than I would predict that the Rangers would be unable to muster the emotional energy necessary to win tonight.
Remember 1986? After Buckner? The Red Sox had a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning in Game 7. Yes, they lost, but the “oh, they’re devastated” narrative didn’t hold up. Tired bullpens, the Mets execution and the Red Sox’ lack thereof is what decided that game, not momentum. To suggest otherwise is to impose a storyline we want to impose, not to reflect what happened. Or what we can at least accurately ascertain happened.
And so is the case tonight. Not having Derek Holland at the ready is going to be a way taller order for the Rangers to overcome than shell shock from Game 6. The fact that they’re on the road and that the home team has won the last eight Game sevens will matter more than shell shock too (though that’s not a predictive thing either). The Rangers’ defense — if as bad as it was in Game 6 — will play a huge role too.
But let’s save the drama-spinning for a while, OK?